10 on the Shortlist for the WAIS Junior Athlete of the Year

WAIS | Published: Thu 1 November 2018

The shortlist for the 2018 WAIS Junior Athlete of the Year has been revealed with a high quality list of athletes from a wide range of sports attracting the attention of selectors.


Rowing leads the way with three nominations whilst Sailing is the only other program with multiple nominees. The list includes a Commonwealth Games representative, whilst there a numerous athletes who have worn the green and gold in World Championship competition across the nomination period.


In all, 10 WAIS nominations have made the shortlist and you can find out how they made the list via the award bios below.



Hamish Henriques and Ben Gerrard – Rowing


Hamish and Ben were members of the Australian U19 men’s coxed four crew that claimed a bronze medal at this year’s Junior World Championships in the Czech Republic. The crew coached by Jamie Hewlett were camp based in their preparation allowing Hamish – just 17 years of age – to complete his year 12 high school. Hamish was also a prominent member of the Hale boat that broke an 18 year duck in the Head of the River race, whilst Ben – only 18 himself – showed significant promise in winning a national U21 medal in addition to his world championships success.




Ashton Brinkworth – Swimming


A gold medal returned in the men’s 50m freestyle final at the Junior Pan Pacs in Fiji was further embossed by a series of strong swims in the green and gold as a member of the Australian team at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires. The 18 year-old also registered a number of personal best times at the Commonwealth Games Trials in his first appearance at a national senior meet.




Nikita Hains – Diving


Nikita continues to justify her standing as one of the nation’s best emerging platform diving talents. At the 2018 Junior World Championships in Ukraine, Hains finished fifth in both the 10m individual and synchro finals, whilst a fourth place effort at senior meet in Rostock, Germany added further evidence of her progress in the sport.




Tyler Lindorff – Cycling


A successful campaign at the Australian Road Championships underpinned a season that culminated in a debut at the UCI Junior Road World Championships for Tyler Lindorff. Tyler won the U19 men’s road race in Ballarat and also claimed silver in the time trial, before confirming selection with a bronze medal in the time trial at the Oceania Road Championships in April.




Jake Harvie – Hockey


Jake Harvie has enjoyed a dream ascent into life as a Kookaburra in 2018 with the country WA hockey product winning gold medals at the Commonwealth Games and Champions Trophy. After debuting at the International Festival of Hockey in late 2017, he also featured in the Kookaburras’ World League victory in India last December. His talent was singled out for reward at June’s Champions Trophy, where the 20 year-old was named as the tournament’s Rising Star.




Giorgia Patten and Bronwyn Cox – Rowing


An international A-Final appearance confirmed Giorgia and Bronwyn’s status as elite age rowers in 2018 with the dynamic duo teaming for fifth place in the final of the women’s pair at the U23 World Titles in Poland. With Patten just 19 and Cox only 21, both athletes are highly regarded within Rowing Australia’s pathway, with Giorgia and Bronwyn recently offered positions at the National Training Centre in Penrith.




Annabelle McIntyre – Rowing


Having won the WAIS Junior Athlete of the Year title in 2017 with Bronwyn Cox, Annabelle McIntyre will again be in contention for the prize after a stellar 2018 campaign. Annabelle earned graduation to the National Training Centre in Penrith where she earned a seat in the women’s eight crew for the senior World Championships in Bulgaria. At 22, she won a bronze medal as the Australian crew returned a podium performance in the Olympic class event for the first time in 12 years. McIntyre also claimed two national senior titles and added a further gold medal in the U23 women’s quad scull.




Zac Littlewood – Sailing


Laser Radial sailor Zac Littlewood won an open class World Championship title in Germany last June, topping a fleet of over 90 boats for victory and earning history in the process as the youngest ever winner at 17 years of age. Zac continued his purple patch into July where he won a bronze medal at the Youth World Championships in Corpus Christi, Texas.




Jamie Oberman – Water Polo

Jamie Oberman overcame a bout of Glandular Fever in late 2017 to return to full form and fitness and secure a berth in the Australian women’s junior team that competed at the Junior World Titles in Serbia. Having turned 17 during the year, Oberman gave up age and experience on many of her peers and opponents, yet still performed impressively in the crucial role of centre back as Australia finished in a highly commendable position of fourth place.




Rome Featherstone – Sailing


Rome Featherstone sailed in Australia’s 420 class entry at the 2018 Youth World Championships in Corpus Christi, Texas delivering a silver medal effort in tandem with skipper Otto Henry. The duo maintained their podium status, having won the 420 Youth World Title in December 2017 in Sanya, China.


The winner of the 2018 WAIS Junior Athlete of the Year title will be announced at the WAIS Awards on Thursday, November 15 at the Pan Pacific Hotel.